WCW: Eleanor Bron


You want an exercise in frustration? Try making finding images of Eleanor Bron’s vast historical film career online. Seriously! Try it! Imma go make myself another sazerac while you spend hours on fruitless Google searches for images of Bron in well-known historical films only to turn up empty handed of said actress in said film. So, that’s why this list looks a tad sparse, because while we’ve all seen Eleanor Bron in a bazillion different historical films, only a handful of them have pictures of her in those roles online. And quarantine or not, I’m not that dedicated to go chase down every single film she’s been in just to get screen caps. That said, Eleanor Bron is one of the most recognizable English actresses and to leave her out of Woman Crush Wednesday would be criminal.

Women in Love (1969)

Kendra and Trystan keep trying to get me to review Ken Russell movies. I don’t know why they hate me.


A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (1971)

One of those BBC televised plays with surprisingly good costumes for the early ’70s.


The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983)

I don’t know why, but a lot of photos I’ve found of Eleanor Bron online have this same expression.


A Month in the Country (1985)

And here we have, folks, a classic example of an unfortunate biggins as modeled by an otherwise attractive woman in biddy drag.

Little Dorrit (1987)

Yes, we have had to resort to the dreaded watermarked stock image. Gorgeous dress, though.


Black Beauty (1994)

Eleanor Bron - Black Beauty (1994)


A Little Princess (1995)

This film was probably my first exposure to Eleanor Bron as a kid, and I remember being fascinated with her white streaked hair and also terrified of her. Now, I kind of get where she was coming from, and I desperately wish I had that white streak…


Vanity Fair (1998)

Ok, here’s what I’m talking about. No pictures of our girl Eleanor are online! Have a picture of my dingus cat instead.

I’m sure it’s completely obvious by now that I have ceased giving any and all fucks.


The House of Mirth (2000)

She definitely has that disdainful upper-class woman thing down pat.


Love’s Brother (2004)

I think this movie is set in the 1950s? Maybe? Whatever, it’s going in this list because dammit, I need more images.


Hyde Park on the Hudson (2012)

Eleanor Bron - Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)


Are you a fan of Eleanor Bron? What’s your favorite of her historical costume roles? Share it with us in the comments!


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

33 Responses

  1. MoHub

    You need shots of her in Patsy’s flashbacks in AbFab. “Take it [newborn Patsy} away, and bring me another lover!”

  2. Susan Pola Staples

    What is the ‘dingus cat’s’ name.
    I was going to say Dr Who, but I’m not sure it was one of the history episodes. Of the list, I am going with Hound of the Baskervilles bc I enjoyed the movie and at the same time wasn’t sure if her character was part of the plot or Innocence. She has that badass don’t mess with me air even in Victorian clothing.

    But my all time favourite movie with her in it isn’t a Frock Flicks but has my all time favourite rock group in it. Hint: John, Paul, George and Ringo. You guessed it, The Beatles and the film, HELP!

    • Constance

      Also I think video of maybe Don’t Hide your love away? Or a Beatles music video anyway…

      • Karin

        That was in HELP! – You’ve got to hide your love away is in there ;-).

          • Kelly

            Yass!! And for extra 1960’s fun, watch her in various guises in Bedazzled, with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

            • MoHub

              The original Bedazzled is my top favorite movie of all time!

            • Roxana

              Now I know why she looked no familiar with heavy eye makeup! The original Bedazzled is the best. Accept no imitations!

    • Gill

      The Doctor Who I remember most clearly was a tiny cameo with John Cleese at the end of “City of Death”, in which they were a pair of pretentious visitors to an art gallery in which (for reasons) the Tardis was parked. It disappeared and she said “Exquisite” in a way that certainly brought my house down! She was also in a later series, in the Colin Baker era, I think. Not historical, sadly, but she is always practically perfect in every way.

  3. susan l eiffert

    Adored her since Women in Love. Love’s Brother looks interesting.

  4. Jill

    The hat from the Hyde Park on the Hudson photo at the end is just delicious.

  5. Elizabeth Mahon

    I don’t think that the photo from A Month in the Country is her. She is listed as playing Natalya Petrovna who is the lead. I think that is a photo of Phyllis Calvert as one of the servants.

    • Sharon in Scotland

      That looked like Elizabeth Spriggs to me…………..Mrs Thingy in Emma Thompson’s “Sense and Sensabililty”.

  6. Roxana

    That bugging isn’t just unfortunate, it’s positively disfiguring!

  7. M.E. Lawrence

    She’s such a handsome woman, so elegant, but also plays scary to perfection; imagine her as Mrs. Danvers! I’m afraid I best remember the hatchet job Russell did on her in “Women in Love” (much like the hatchet job Lawrence did on the character, “inspired” by Ottoline Morrell, one of his patrons, whose hospitality he graciously accepted).

  8. Saraquill


    ahem Of the above films, “A Little Princess” stands out the most in my mind. Even then though, I preferred the book. That movie’s climax was needlessly melodramatic compared to the text.

  9. SarahV

    It’s so funny that you picked her! I was watching one of the secret favorite movies Wimbledon with Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany (seriously, I challenge you not to swoon at the final tennis match scene!) and I took note of the actress playing his mom. She has such a strong, handsome face and so I went exploring on IMDB. She’s been in lots, but I think the one that really stuck out was A Little Princess.. She projects such reserve and authority.

    • Lily Lotus Rose

      SarahV, Wimbledon is a movie that should not work, but somehow it does! I think it’s one of those movies where a top-notch cast with great chemistry elevates cliched material. I loved the parents in the film–even sexy old Sam Neill. So, now I’ll have to give this movie another viewing and keep an eye out for this actress–when I’m not keeping an eye out for Paul Bettany, James McAvoy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; and Sam Neill!

  10. Charity

    She plays a dreadful character in The Little Princess but that version has always been my favorite. One of the best scenes is when Sarah screams at her, “Didn’t YOUR father ever call you his little princess? Well, DIDN’T HE??” and you can see the emotional pain all over her face before she flounces out and slams the door. Good stuff.

  11. Kaite Fink

    I would love an entire post about your dingus cat. Feel free to amuse us with animal antics. My two doofuses are really the only things keeping me close to sane right now.

  12. Morgan

    She was also a patient on the short-lived Casualty 1900s show! She was so good-natured to her nurse when my friend and I watched it we couldn’t believe Miss Minchin would be anything but cruel!

  13. SarahV

    Also, you should totally watch Women in Love for THAT SCENE. You know which one. Oliver Reed and Alan Bates. Even now, I can’t believe that was in a mainstream movie in 1969.

  14. Lily Lotus Rose

    I’ve never heard of this woman before. The picture that fascinates me most is the still from A Little Princess because it features a very young Liam Cunningham (aka Davos Seaworth from Game of Thrones)! I never watched the ’95 version of A Little Princess because the Shirley Temple version is my jam. If I ever watch any of these films, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for this lady.

    • CatnipTARDIS

      The 1995 A Little Princess is FABULOUS. It’s worth taking a look if only for a handful of the production crew: Alfonso Cuarón directed, Bo Belch did the production design, Patrick Doyle composed the score, Emmanuel Lubezki was DP, and Judianna Makovsky designed the costumes.

  15. CatnipTARDIS

    My bangs have been greyer faster than the rest of my hair for years, so I routinely refer to them as my “reverse Eleanor Bron”. XDDD